What is Cryptosporidiosis?

Cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium parvum, which as late as 1976 was not known to cause disease in humans. Until 1993, when over 400,000 people in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, became ill with diarrhea after drinking contaminated with the parasite, few people had heard of either crytosporidiosis or the single-celled protozoon that causes it.

Since the Milwaukee outbreak, concern over the safety of drinking water in the United States has increased, and new attention has been focused on determining and reducing the risk for cryptosporidiosis from community and municipal water supplies.